The acclaimed author of "Ice Reich" delivers a powerful historical novel of ancient warfare, lethal politics, and the final great clash of Roman and ...Show synopsisThe acclaimed author of "Ice Reich" delivers a powerful historical novel of ancient warfare, lethal politics, and the final great clash of Roman and Celtic culture.Hide synopsis
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Rarely does a novel satisfy both the hunger for good reading and the thirst for historical accuracy. Dietrich's "Hadrian's Wall" does both, providing a sumptuous repast of page-turning brilliance.
The book focuses on the adventures of a new Roman bride traveling to meet her newly appointed husband in the out-flung province of Britannia, and never leaves the reader at loose ends. The intrigues of outpost commanders, tribal leaders, and shadowy druids is a well-woven backdrop for the broad sequence of historical events leading to the rebellion of the Caledonii against the hard-pressed legions of the Wall.
The prologue is almost lifted from the style of Latin authors of the time, illustrating through a conversation between Emperor Hadrian and his advisor the Empire's need to "keep out the Darkness" of barbarism, and safeguard "the Light" of civilization. Liberal paraphrasing from Tacitus and Caesar, in the guise of late Rome, provide a subtle and informative sense of the determination of the Romans to keep the 'savages' of Caledonia out of the rich province of Britannia. Not bad manners, just good policy.
Numerous interwoven adventures highlight the intrigue of Galba, the cavalry commander, against both his Roman superiors and his enemies, the Celts. To relate details would be to rob the reader of so many choice literary morsels that must be sampled personally to fully appreciate.
As an archaeologist and historian, I can give no higher recommendation than to say; "Read it!" Both Celtophiles and lovers of dramatic literature are certain of satisfaction, but the best recommendation is that it is up to Dietrich's usual standards of historical accuracy. Worth the price at any cost.
Dietrich does it again; another score in my book! Although Hadrian's Wall was written some years ago, it was the 5th I've read by Dietrich, and was not disappointed.
There are many gripping story tellers in the genre these days, but few are as deft, smooth, and entertaining with the language as Dietrich. His narrative style alone is worth the read, but the historical research and tale weaving make the whole stew more than satisfying. I would recommend anything by this talented writer.
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